Road & Rail

Uber acquires ridesharing rival for $4.5 billion

Ridesharing giant Uber has completed the previously announced acquisition of Careem for US$3.1 billion ($4.5 billion).

Established in July 2012, Careem is a rival ridesharing platform based in the Middle East. It operates in 120 cities across 15 countries, and also offers bus, corporate travel, food delivery, and payment services.

The deal will see Careem Networks FZ-LLC become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Uber, with the two businesses to continue operating their respective regional services and independent brands.

Co-founder and CEO Mudassir Sheikha will continue to lead Careem, which will report to a board made up of three representatives from Uber and two representatives from Careem.

With the closing of the deal, Uber has acquired Careem’s mobility, delivery, and payments businesses across the greater Middle East region, with major markets including Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

The regulatory approval process in Pakistan, Qatar, and Morocco is ongoing and the transaction will not close in these territories until approvals from the legal authorities responsible are obtained.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said: “I’m looking forward to seeing even more innovation from Careem, as they continue to operate independently under their current leadership.

“Working in parallel, our two platforms will be able to build upon the unique strengths of each to the benefit of drivers, riders and the cities we serve across the greater Middle East.”

Sheikha said the deal marks a new chapter for Careem.

“The journey that we started almost a decade ago to simplify the lives of people in the greater Middle East is far from over,” he said.

“Joining forces with Uber accelerates that journey as we become the region’s everyday super-app.

“We are excited to take Careem to new heights alongside Uber, who appreciates the significant regional opportunity, is supportive of our values and culture, and believes in the purpose that drives us.”

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